As we reforest our oceans through our new seaforestation projects, it’s also important to remember our shorelines. If you head to the beach almost anywhere in the world, you’ll likely see evidence of human impact, like balloons, cigarette butts, and plastic pieces. Keeping our local beaches clean helps protect marine habitats and wildlife, while fostering a deeper appreciation for these beautiful natural spaces we all share. Here are the top 10 benefits of cleaning up your local beach.
10 Benefits of Cleaning Up Your Local Beach
1. Protects marine animals
Over the past few years, we’ve been shocked by headlines about sea life dying due to consuming or getting trapped by the waste we throw in the oceans. When our garbage washes up on coastlines, it’s our chance to take it out before the tide drags it back out. By removing the trash we find on the beach, we’re doing our part to make sure that marine animals don’t get hurt by it.
2. Perserves our natural environments
Beaches are amazing places for us to explore and enjoy together. But when they’re covered in trash, it puts these natural spaces at risk. That’s why cleaning up your local beach is so important – it helps ensure that everyone, from near and far, can appreciate the beauty of your beach.
3. Removes toxic chemicals from the water
Cigarette butts are the most widely littered item on our planet. They’re also one of the most common types of trash found in our oceans. Although they’re small, cigarette butts are capable of polluting a huge amount of water – if just one butt is left to soak for an hour, it has the potential to contaminate up to 8 litres of water with unhealthy and dangerous chemicals. If you pick up 10 cigarette butts from the ground, you’re saving nearly 800 litres of water from contamination.
4. Benefits the local community
Seaside communities benefit in many ways from fishing and tourism. When their beaches are clear of litter, people are more likely to visit, spend money in the area, and enjoy activities like scuba diving. Plus, the clean water makes it easier for fishers to make a living. So, by joining a beach cleanup, you can help the local economy.
5. Creates a safer environment
Litter isn’t just an eyesore – it can be dangerous, too. Sharp pieces of metal and glass, which can easily be hidden in the sand, can cause serious injuries if you’re not careful. So if you see any hazardous items like this, be sure to take extra caution when picking them up.
6. Able to dispose of trash properly
Doing litter cleanups yourself is a great way to dispose of waste properly. Many recyclable and compostable items end up in landfills, where they can’t break down. Take the time to sort out what can be recycled and composted—it makes a real difference.
7. Makes seafood safer
It’s true – what goes in the ocean can end up inside of us. A recent study from Ghent University in Belgium found that people who eat seafood consume an average of 11,000 tiny plastic particles each year. Over time, these chemicals can build up in our bodies and cause health issues. That’s why cleaning up your local beach is so important – it’s one way to create a healthier world!
8. Gets you outside
Nothing beats the feeling of sand between your toes, the warmth of the sun on your skin, and the fresh sea breeze. Beach cleanups are a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of the ocean and nearby beaches while doing something good for the environment.
9. Provides important data
Beach clean–ups are an important way to collect data and get a better understanding of beach pollution. Volunteers can document what they find and how much of it there is. This info can help policymakers figure out what‘s causing the pollution and come up with ways to reduce it. The data can also be used to measure how successful beach clean–ups are and to identify areas that need the most attention.
10. Connects you with new people
Beach clean–ups are a great way to make new friends and build relationships with people who care about the environment. They‘re also a great opportunity to learn about resources and organizations that are working to protect the environment. Plus, they often attract members of the local community, so you can get to know people who are invested in the area and could provide valuable help and advice.
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